31 August 2012

Finishing up site tours

Today we visited the last of our placement sites for our time here in Belfast. First was David's congregation, Abbey Presbyterian in Monkstown. This is their first year with a YAV, and they plan to use this opportunity to work on outreach with local youth. Next was the site where Anna and I will split our time, The Vine Centre. Anna will work mostly with the advice centre and computer lab, and it seems I will be doing the toddler's group, lunch club and afterschools tutoring. I look forward to learning more about the vast array of programs they offer. Our last site was Whitehouse Presbyterian, which had quite a friendly group on hand to greet us. Their building was burned by a sectarian arson attack several years ago, and they have used the experience to build ecumenical bridges within the community.

Much to the chagrin of people from Belfast, most of the publicity about Northern Ireland involves the Troubles... even today. What isn't seen by the casual observer is the people throughout this city who do amazing things every day to make their communities better and stronger. I don't see how I can go through this year and see what I've seen and not be changed by it. I'm so glad to have the opportunity to work with these people for a year!

Fun fact of the day:
My computer has reverted to blogspot.co.uk. When I want things to be in the middle of the page, I have to "centre" it. 

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